My old friend and teacher Sudha Yalamanchili passed away earlier this year. We met when I was in my mid-20s, where we worked in in the same group at Honeywell in Minneapolis. I was also working on my master’s at UMinn and Sudha was teaching some courses in what was called Parallel Processing in those days. I took all three of his classes and they were the best classes I have ever taken. Until that time I was studying solid state electronics, but wasn’t doing very well and wasn’t enjoying it at all. After Sudha’s class I had a new direction.
We became friends and exchanged emails every few months and got together, usually at technical conferences where we would introduce each other to like minded colleagues. Sudha was also the guy I went to when I thought I might have a good idea. I would run things past him and he would (always politely) tell me if it had already been done, or if it just wasn’t such a good idea. Other times he would pause and maybe send me after some related work. Those times I knew I might be on to something.
I’m going to miss the conversations. I can’t say this about too many people, but he inspired me to do better things in my career and also taught me to be generous with the people around me. What else could you ask for from another person?